Your Guide for Dropping from 3 to 2 Naps

by | Jul 20, 2023

As your baby grows, their sleep patterns evolve, and navigating these changes can often feel like uncharted waters. One of the earliest and most significant shifts is the three to two nap transition. This transition may pose some challenges as you adapt to your baby’s evolving sleep needs, but with some insights and guidance, it can indeed become a smooth ride.

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Dropping the third nap: Helping your baby transition from 3 naps to 2!

When is the Right Time to Drop from 3 to 2 Naps?

The journey from three naps to two typically begins when your baby is around 6-8 months old. But keep in mind that all children are unique, and timelines can vary. It’s less about your baby reaching a certain age and more about them exhibiting signs of readiness.

Signs of Readiness for Dropping to 2 Naps:

Identifying when your baby is ready to transition from three naps to two is paramount for ensuring a smooth changeover. Keep an eye out for these signals:

  • Your baby is approximately 6-8 months old.
  • They begin to resist the third nap of the day.
  • The third nap, if taken, tends to push bedtime too late or make it a battle.
  • They’re comfortably staying awake for longer periods between naps without showing signs of excessive crankiness or tiredness.
  • Your baby can manage a 3-hour wake window, especially for the last awake period of the day, without becoming overly tired.


Once you’ve observed the readiness signs, you’re ready to initiate the transition. Here are some steps to guide you:

  • Gradually Extend Awake Time: Begin by incrementally extending the time your baby stays awake between naps. This gradual change helps them adjust to longer wakeful periods.
  • Adjust Bedtime: As the third nap phases out, you might need to adjust bedtime to prevent your baby from becoming overtired. An earlier bedtime can make up for the lost daytime sleep.
  • Patience is Key: The transition may not be linear – some days, your baby might still need that third nap, and that’s perfectly okay. A little back and forth during this period is entirely normal.
  • Consistency: Maintain a consistent routine. This predictability can provide your baby with the security they need during this period of change.

The 3 to 2 nap transition is a major milestone in your baby’s first year. Though it may bring its own set of challenges, with a strategic approach and a dose of patience, you’ll successfully steer your babe through this change.

As always, I’m here to offer personalized guidance. Reach out if you need help. Here’s to smoother transitions and sweet dreams!

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